Augusta Mayor not happy about Atlanta newspaper article

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News 12 at 11 / Monday, Feb. 17, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver sat down only with News 12 to talk about an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution he isn't too happy about.

The mayor said the story unfairly characterizes Augusta as not ready for the ice and suggested those without money suffered more than the rest.

"That article did not accurately show was what was going on in Augusta," Copenhaver said.

The mayor isn't the only one upset. Tim Hollobaugh, another person quoted in the article, says his interview was misquoted and thinks the AJC reporter was biased.

"I felt he only put in what he wanted to put in of what I told him," said Tim Hollobaugh.

Hollobaugh was one of many folks to whom AJC reporter Johnny Edwards talked during the ice storm. Hollobaugh said he mentioned how great the shelter, staff and medical team were to him and his wife, but none of that made the story.

"He didn't take anything positive we had to say. He concentrated on the few negative things I identified, and in my opinion, used that to blow things out of proportion," he told News 12.

The mayor has used Twitter to try to tell the AJC he thinks they are wrong, but says he's heard nothing back.

"At this point I think I'm just going to let it go. Somebody told me today that they have not seen me angry. Well, I was angry when I saw that article," said the mayor.

Copenhaver believes the city was prepared for the ice and says the state agrees.

"The director of GEMA, and I quote, called our response to the storm 'magnificent' and had high praise for us. That's the city that I see and know," Copenhaver said.

Hollobaugh thinks the AJC reporter crossed the line.

"I don't feel he was responsible. I feel that he was looking for a way to kind of elevate the stain on Atlanta due to their fiasco on the highways," he said.

The thought that Georgia Power was overwhelmed and scrambling to send crews to a city wrecked by ice as the AJC reported, Copenhaver says is wrong.

"I just didn't think that. To me, that was a very bad thing to say in the article, because it didn't reflect the hard work that was going on by them and by all of our local citizens," he told News 12.

News 12 talked to the article's author Johnny Edwards Monday night.

He said he couldn't comment besides what the AJC released which said, "The AJC had multiple reporters and photographers in and around Augusta for three days and stand by our reporting. We also interviewed Georgia Power CEO and published his point of view at length."

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